Volkswagen has big plans for the future, and those plans rest squarely on the electric vehicle technology and self-driving cars. The automaker plans to be an innovator and one of the leaders in both of these areas in the coming years.
Developing the Car of the Future
Jurgen is of the belief that a revolutionary vehicle will be released within the next 10 years. This vehicle will power itself with electricity, but recharge itself while driving through inductive chargers. It will come equipped with the Internet, and a slew of autonomous features that allow it to at least partially drive on its own. He believes that such a car is bound to be produced in the future, and strives to make Volkswagen one of the first automakers to reach that ambitious goal.
Not Afraid to Face Tech Giants
Jurgen Stackmann, the head of sales and marketing for Volkswagen, stated that the company isn’t phased by the competition presented by tech giants such as Google or Apple. He believes that the company will come up with leading electric vehicle technologies and figure out how to create reliable self-driving vehicles that put it out ahead of most other developers. This will make Volkswagen one of the automakers to deal with, and should help significantly improve the company’s market share in the United States in the future at the same time.
Jurgen is so confident about going up against tech giants because he understands how much time and effort goes into quality control measures. Without a capable automotive partner, most tech companies will have trouble meeting strict quality standards that automakers
Why Volkswagen is Capable of Innovation
As one of the largest automakers in the world, Volkswagen has a serious advantage when it comes toward seeing such an innovation to life. With more than 40,000 engineers employed, as well as a huge access to resources Volkswagen can do a whole lot.
Volkswagen expects to have a car that can travel up to 300 miles on a single charge, and that can be charged back up in 15 minutes out on the market within 10 years. Not only that, but the automaker also believes that the car will be sold at a lower price than conventional cars are today. That’s a bold statement and something any automaker would be thrilled to achieve. However, if any automaker is capable of doing such a thing, a company as vast as Volkswagen is.
A full-sized SUV has been long overdue from Volkswagen and the automaker has missed out on quite a bit of money by waiting so long before considering releasing one, but it appears that Volkswagen is now firmly committed to a full-sized SUV and is no going ahead with the SUV to be released as soon as possible. The very first sheet metal body for the SUV was crafted at the Chattanooga Tennessee plant, and that kicks off the swift development of a highly anticipated SUV.
How Long is the Wait?
The wait for the SUV isn’t expected to be too long. With development underway it wouldn’t be surprising to see a 2017 model year version of the SUV. Volkswagen has already confirmed that such a launch date is likely to happen and that the SUV will probably be released sometime before the end of 2016. That means that there are sure to be more details released about the vehicle in the near future, but we already know quite a bit about the SUV thanks to the CrossBlue Concept.
More about the SUV
The brand-new SUV from Volkswagen is based on the CrossBlue concept, pictured above, and it’s safe to say that many of the details from that SUV will show up in the released version. The SUV will have two bucket seats up front, two in the second row and bucket seats to hold three passengers in the third row. It will likely come with a four-cylinder turbo-charged engine to maximize fuel efficiency, but might also be offered with a V6 as well. The SUV is likely to have the same sleek styling as the CrossBlue concept, and should turn out to be an attractive vehicle overall.
There isn’t a guarantee that the plug-in hybrid nature of the SUV is going to remain with the production vehicle, but for the moment that’s exactly what Volkswagen intends. If Volkswagen does maintain that technology in the SUV it will only be on select models and there will be base gasoline-only vehicles as well.
If you’re a fan of Volkswagen vehicles and you’re in need of an SUV that seats six or more, the SUV based on the CrossBlue concept could be a good solid option for you. Look for it before the end of the year, and pay attention to new because future updates surrounding the vehicle are sure to be released throughout the year as the launch looms closer.
Automakers are increasingly turning to new technologies to make their vehicles more efficient. They’re doing this to meet buyer appeal, but also to meet more stringent emission requirements. Volkswagen recently released a new 1.5 liter engine based on the Miller Cycle to hopefully produce more efficient vehicles with similar levels of power.
The Advantages of the Engine
According to Volkswagen engineers there are a number of distinct advantages to the Miller Cycle compared to most standard engines in use by VW today. The engine offers a greater geometric compression ratio that improves efficiency levels in the load range of driving that customers are likely to use most often. This might not mean efficiency improvements under all driving conditions, but should help keep vehicles moving more efficiently for most drivers under most driving circumstances.
Thanks to the few improvements that this engine offers, Volkswagen asserts that peak torque can be achieved at just 1,300 RPMs in the engine. That means that vehicles could accelerate more effectively and feel more powerful while using this compact engine to do so. In the 148 HP version of the engine it comes with coated cylinder liners covered with atmospheric plasma spray to reduce friction further while enhancing resistance to corrosion and heat dissipation capabilities.
A Warmer Cabin
Not only will the engine perform more capably in most standard driving conditions, but according to Volkswagen engineers it will be able to heat up a cabin on a cold morning more effectively as well. That’s because the water in the engine and crankcase will remain stationary when the vehicle is first warming up. This provides the vehicle with more heat to use in the cabin and can offer passengers warmth in less time, which is an exciting innovation for anyone that’s had to ride around on a frosty winter morning without the vehicle fully warmed up.
Cylinder deactivation is a common technology used on massive engines like that had in the Dodge Viper, but Volkswagen has fitted it to their four-cylinder engine, allowing it to run on just two cylinders for less strenuous activities. That means that in light driving conditions it would be possible to enjoy significant fuel savings from this feature alone, something that many car owners are bound to be excited about once they hear of it.
To top it all off the level of injection pressure is also increased with this engine, which should limit emissions given off more, making it a cleaner engine to operate in another way. All together this latest engine offering from Volkswagen is an exciting prospect that has much in the way of improvements to excite prospective buyers. It should help Volkswagen release more efficient vehicles overall, especially when it comes to their smaller models.
For days now Volkswagen has been teasing its new Hybrid SUV concept that it’s going to show off at the Beijing Auto Show between April 25 and May 4th. Though the automaker hasn’t given away too many significant details about its newest creation, it has already let out enough to show that the SUV is going to be quite a capable full-electric driver and quite modern as well.
The Modern Technologies
The last thing that most buyers are concerned with when picking out an advanced plug-in hybrid vehicle is the type of media system that comes in it, but Volkswagen is advertising that the display system will make the vehicle highly interactive and it should be an interesting display of technology nonetheless. The vehicle is likely to come equipped with most of the cutting-edge technologies that we come to expect from the latest vehicles, as well as some additional technologies that improve the driving experience even further. We’ll have to wait to actually see what those technologies are at the auto show before speculating, but it could easily be some new touchscreen setup or a holographic display.
Quick and Efficient
The plug-in hybrid is of course designed for efficiency and to limit the amount of fossil fuels burnt during standard operation, but it’s also quite quick to accelerate for an SUV. VW estimates that the vehicle can go from 0 to 62 MPH in 6 seconds. That’s faster than some cars can travel the distance, and should make driving the SUV under normal conditions quite enjoyable. Sure it’s not a racecar, but it’s quite light on its feet, or so this estimate makes it seem. Not only that but the SUV can manage to hit top speeds of 139 MPH, fast enough for just about any driver.
Full Electric Driving
A plug-in hybrid doesn’t make much sense if it doesn’t offer a full-electric operating mode. The SUV is expected to get around 31 miles of range on a single charge. This estimate is not exact or final from the automaker, but it’s quite promising. It’s far enough to get most workers to the office, even if they have to charge up again before heading home, and it would work just fine for short-range trips into town. Even trips that are too long to be taken strictly using the electric range of the vehicle could be completed more efficiently by relying on the technology to avoid using fossil fuels for part of the travelling.
It will be several days still until more details are revealed about Volkswagen’s latest project, but it seems a pretty exciting one overall.
The transparent factory where the Volkswagen Phaeton was built is a wonder that people travel to see. Not only is it very cool, but it’s completely functional as well. Workers relied on efficient means to produce beautiful and highly effective vehicles at the plant in Dresden Germany, but it’s a plant no longer. Now it’s an exhibition for Electric Vehicles. Folks can travel to the facility to get a taste of EVs and where they are headed in the future. It’s a cool experience and was of course put in place to try and build up even more interest in electric vehicles than there already is today.
Getting the Exhibition Ready
Preparing the facility to be used as an exhibition took just 10 days. During that time a bunch of informational stations were set up and a bunch of electric vehicles were brought in. The facility is certainly something that should continue to be used, and with its aesthetic appeal it’s the perfect location for a museum or learning center of sorts.
What You’ll See
Visitors to the learning center have access to 50 different stands all designed to teach something. Whether you want to learn how EVs work, or you simply enjoy learning about technology in general, there is a lot to look at in the center. You could walk around all day looking at the many exhibits to learn more about the brand, electric vehicles and technology that’s expected soon. But that’s not all you’ll enjoy while visiting the center, you can also test out some vehicles.
Visitors are also given a chance to make their own recommendations for new features and ways to improve technology. There is a video box available for anyone to speak on, and while visiting you could give the company its next big idea for a product or enhancement.
That’s right, there are many different electric vehicles available to test out while at the facility. This is of course to help familiarize potential customers with electric vehicles and how they operate. It’s a lot easier to get excited about an electric car if you know how it’s going to drive and what you can expect. Most people expect electric vehicles to be slow and to perform poorly. Driving one is a much different experience that can help dash any negative expectations.
Future Plans for the Facility
While it will continue to serve as an ambassador for electric technology, the facility will also likely be used for some small-scale electric vehicle construction in the future as well. There’s a possibility that the construction could also serve as a learning tool for visitors, while helping Volkswagen release modern vehicles for sale around the world. These will likely be sold in the luxury segment, so don’t expect to see any e-Golf models rolling off the assembly line here.
If automatic braking and other auto safety technologies excite or intrigue you, you’ll be happy to know that by 2020 all the Volkswagen vehicles will come standard with them. That means if you buy a 2020 or 2021 VW vehicle you’ll get things like automatic braking and adaptive cruise control to help make driving safer and more enjoyable for you.
How the Tech Works
The technology relies on sensors to figure out when a possible collision is likely and helps you avoid it. These sensors scan the road out in front of the vehicles as well as behind and on the sides of the vehicle. They can spot potential issues out on the roadways and help you figure out exactly how to respond to them. The technology won’t eliminate all accidents or problems, but it can at least reduce them a bit.
Buying it Today
If you don’t want to wait for the technology to turn into a standard feature, and you want to enjoy safer driving conditions right away that’s an option that is available with many VW vehicles. While it isn’t standard, you can pay extra to have tech and safety packages added to many Volkswagen vehicles. When you pay for this you get things like adaptive cruise control and automatic braking to help mitigate accidents. The tech will help you avoid most serious accidents that don’t involve another vehicle, and it can also reduce the incidence of rear end collisions and other problems that could occur if you weren’t paying close attention to the road or driving while tired.
Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker that’s pledged to do this. Most of the automakers that have vehicles in the United States have agreed to make the technology standard on their vehicles by 2020. That means that the roads are going to be very different come 2020, and even more by 2030 when most drivers have switched over to new vehicles with advanced safety tech. It’s likely that accidents will drop down in a huge surge and roads will be much safer to drive around on. When both vehicles involved in a potential collision have software to help reduce the problem the crash can be prevented entirely or kept to a very slow and slight impact.
This should be exciting to anyone interested in roadway safety and vehicle technology, but you’ll still have to wait for this technology to become standard if you don’t want to pay the higher option prices when buying your vehicle. It’s likely that the costs of this technology will add to the price of the vehicles as well, but with it rolled up into every car price the rise likely won’t be as much as it is with the option packages.
Two years after its original release in Europe the VW Alltrack is now on American soil. It debuted at the 2016 New York Auto Show and it has a lot to offer to drivers interested in getting their hands on a classy Golf hatch.
Rugged Drive Characteristics
The VW Alltrack is based off of the estate version of the Golf and it gets .78 inches of greater ground clearance and a Haldex-5 coupling for improved off-road handling. It comes with 4Motion all-wheel drive for enhanced traction during inclimate weather, but it only offers split power between front and back when it senses poor traction, otherwise the Alltrack keeps most of the power up front for enhanced efficiency.
Classy Exterior Look
When looking at the Alltrack from the outside the 17-inch alloy wheels stand out prominently. Each of the rear mirros are painted with a classy silver tone, and there’s a chrome accent strip at the front of the car and along either side to brighten its look up. Of course the vehicle comes with a set of anodized roof rails for affixing luggage, skis and other items conveniently.
The interior of the Alltrack comes with supple leatherette as standard and a set of aluminum pedal covers for a classy look. Each of the door sills comes with Alltrack branding and minor mood lighting.
The Alltrack is set to come with a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine, offering a total of 170 HP, and it’s going to be coupled to a dual-clutch transmission to start off with. Down the road Volkswagen plans on offering the vehicle with a 5-speed manual as well for enthusiasts.
Any Volkswagen fan looking for a more rugged version of the Golf will undoubtedly fall in love with the Alltrack. Sure it’s not designed for tough off-roading courses, but it offers improved storage capabilities, slightly more ground clearance and roof racks to hold your extra cargo for whatever trips you plan on taking.